(Click above picture to read Colin McGugan's presentation)

As a part of this "Leaving Knapdale" project, I have included 3 "people lists":
COSANDROCHAID FARM TO 1820, BY DATE

COSANDROCHAID FARM TO 1820, BY SURNAME

ONTARIO, NEW GLASGOW CEMETERY

LEAVING KNAPDALE: INTRO PAGE

LEAVING KNAPDALE: THE BANNER

From Cosandrochaid to Aldborough, Ontario

From Arichonan to Upper Canada

BACK TO HOME PAGE



ABOUT THE DATA BASE

COMPLETE KNAPDALE PEOPLE DATA BASE

ARGYLL SETTLERS TO DUNWICH AND ALDBOROUGH TOWNSHIPS,
ONTARIO, CANADA

It is never easy to leave one's country for another and very different one. In the early 19th century, such a journey meant a very long, dangerous, and uncomfortable time on a (by our standards) primitive boat, across an ocean, to a far country with a different climate, and nothing to settle in but wilderness. In the case of the Knapdale people, they had to learn to use wood logs to make their homes, instead of the turf and stones of Argyll. This was not the temporary emigration of young men in search of adventure and wealth. Instead, it was a trek of entire families, old, young, men and women and children, pushed by desperation at home, and pulled by hope for a better life on the other side of the Atlantic.

The attached presentation concerns itself with one such cohort from Mid Argyll, who arrived in southern Ontario in the years 1816, 1817, 1818 and 1819. The author, Colin McGugan, is a descendent of Donald McGugan. Donald McGugan and his father, Neil, were tenants on the Farm of Cosandrochaid, a place still existent south of Tayvallich in North Knapdale. It was one of the farms of the "Ulva Estate" owned by the Campbell of Inverneill family.

It is always a learning experience to ask: why did they leave Knapdale? Colin McGugan has included not only a early history of the Ontario settlement that these people made, but also 3 documents:
(a) "A Minute of the Set of the Land of Coshindrochet, 24 December, 1802." This can also be seen here, on the KnapdalePeople site.
(b) "Regulations of Tillage: Entry and Removal of Tenants, And Conditions of Lease, upon the Estates of Danna, Ulva and Taynish."
This can also be seen here, on the KnapdalePeople site. .
(c) "Deed from Thomas Talbot to Donald McGugan, 1824"

The first two, upon careful reading, are an awkward mix of vague customary rights (of the people) and their daily obligations (to the proprietor and each other) on the one hand; and modern landownership practices (of the proprietor). I could see that the chance to own -OWN - one's land and property, would be a very strong inducement to leave for Canada.

As it happens, one of my own relations (by marriage) arrived in Aldborough in this group. His name was John Ferguson, and you will find him on the list (page 15) provided by Colin McGugan. Because of this, I am able to use a remarkable illustration done by John Ferguson's descendent, Jack Ferguson, entitled "The Landing of the Argyllshire Highlanders - Caroc Nellie, New Glasgow, 1816". Jack made this picture to accompany a poem written in 1928 by his father, John Black Ferguson.

SOME 25 YEARS AFTER DONALD MCGUGAN LEFT UPPER CANADA,
HIS SISTER, MARY MCGUGAN SMITH, WROTE TO HIM
FROM KNAPDALE

Duntaynish, 8th June 1842
My Dear Brother and Sister,
I with heartfelt love take up the opportunity of writing you by Hector McNeill, North Ardbeg, who goes tomorrow for America, and promises to bring you this letter saif, if God is pleased that they arrive in saifety as I trust in God he will find you, my Dear Brother and your wife and family in saifety.

There is know family on Earth goes deeper in my affection than my Dear Brother's family except my own - you have been long out of my sight and it grieves me I never hear from you - but my dear, I am getting advanced in years and nothing would afford me greater comfort than to hear from you, how you and wife and family does,

my husband (John Smith) and I enjoy good health - my oldest son John follows the sea; if God spares him he intends going to America next year - my daughter Betty is dairymaid with Mr McNeill, Drumdarroch; and my daughter Hetty is in the Low Country; and my sons Neill and Malcome are just now at home with ourselves;

my oldest daughter, Christy and her husand and 2 fine boys her sons, sailed from Liverpool on the 30th May, on board the Victorya, and I trust my dear Brother you will be kind to them and pay them some attention, as she has an excellent man and a good worker

but there is know work to be got in this country and it's not easy to bring up a family when there is know employment. I have every dependence on you and my two sisters and my worthy brother-in-law, Malcome Smith, that you will find him and her deserving of your kindness.

Mr and Mrs. McCoumage and family are well; Mr. Neill Leach and wife and family are in good health.

I beg you write me on receipt of this and say how you all enjoy health and let me know if my sister Bell is in life, as I know she was very ill.

My Husband and family joins me in love and blessing for you and wife and family and all our dear Relations my dear Donald and believe me,
your every affectionate sister,
Mary McCougan